PFOA and the Nonstick Cookware Wars

August 16, 2013

Over the last 10 years, PTFE-coated cookware has taken a beating in the press, and rather unfairly.  While it’s true that in some contexts, it’s possible for a PTFE coating to expose an end-user to PFOA, here’s the truth about PTFE-coated nonstick cookware.

The science on the PFOA issue has been clear since 2006.  Everyone agrees, including the EPA:

  • There has never been any PFOA detected in nonstick cookware during tests conducted under normal cooking conditions.

  • PTFE-coated nonstick cookware doesn’t pose a health risk when used properly.

  • Based on these and other facts, government agencies have stated that they don’t recommend discontinuing use of PTFE-coated cookware.

Men’s Journal:  still publishing scare stories, 6 years later

Despite these facts, journalists and bloggers continue to write stories about the dangers of PTFE, while promoting a new generation of “eco-friendly” cookware.  Why?  Because health scare stories are popular, and eco-conscious consumerism is trendy.  It’s a lie that sells papers.

Official information from the EPA about consumer exposure to PFOAs

Unfortunately for consumers, it’s all just a lot of greenwashing.  PTFE-coated cookware, when used normally, is just as safe as the eco-pans.  No PFOA exposure, no toxic fumes.  And if you want to consider the environment, consider this:  pans coated with good PTFE products will probably last about 6 times longer than a so-called eco-friendly pan.  That means six times less energy and materials used for production, transport, and packaging, and ultimately 6 times fewer pans in landfills.  Who’s eco-friendly, now?

GreenPan gets 2 out of 5 stars on ConsumerReports.org

Understanding how to safely produce high-quality PTFE coatings, companies like DuPont and Whitford are producing revolutionary new nonsticks.  Check out the new range of Teflons® from DuPont, and Eterna® from Whitford.  Eterna has been shown to retain its nonstick properties up to  50 times longer than standard nonsticks!

Because pans coated with high-performance PTFE products retain their nonstick properties so much longer, consumers can cook longer without adding fats, meaning that meals can be healthier, overall.

Simply put, these are safe products that hands-down outperform the eco-pans.  So why is there still an eco-pan craze?  Because the PTFE-coating industry hasn’t yet successfully fired back a fatal shot.

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This article does not constitute medical advice.  Always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health and well-being.